On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, New York City officials joined documentary filmmakers Michael Moore (“Bowling For Columbine”), Matthew O’Neill (“Baghdad ER”), and Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) for a ceremony to break ground for the first all-documentary movie theater in the country.
The theater is set to open in 2015 on the ground floor of the Downtown Community Television Cinema on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan. It will hold 73 seats and feature a 3D and 4K digital projection system. As a result, Academy Award-caliber documentaries can potentially have the theatrical run that has often eluded them, and New Yorkers will have the chance to see more documentaries on a large screen.
Plans are also in place for an interactive component, which will allow people all over the world to watch the theater’s live events on the Internet. This theater will, hopefully, open up the possibility for more 3D non-fiction films, and perhaps more theaters like it will open in other U.S. cities and elsewhere.
As the media is increasingly owned by corporations with interests that prevent some stories from ever being told, we must turn to independent documentary filmmakers to show us the injustices committed around the world. It will be exciting to see how this theater promotes and supports those filmmakers and the important stories they regularly bring to light.
One such documentary is the heartbreaking “Oxyana,” which was screened at the recent Tribeca Film Festival.